LAS VEGAS, May 12, 2016 – Boxing champions gathered in Las Vegas during Canelo vs. Khan fight weekend to cheer on a charitable organization putting up its own battle on behalf of the boxing community.
Former unified middleweight champion and Golden Boy Promotions partner Bernard Hopkins hosted “The Art of Boxing” in conjunction with Smile Design Gallery (SDG) at the Hakkasan Restaurant’s Ling Ling Lounge inside the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. All of the art sold at the event was matched dollar for dollar in free dental care for uninsured boxers, trainers and professionals in the boxing community.
New York based dentist Dr. Lee Gause founded Smile Design Gallery (SDG) in 2013, a mission-based charity using art sales to fund free dental care for individuals being rehabilitated from homelessness, as well as low income children and seniors. SDG builds relationships with both up-and-coming talent and renowned artists and established galleries. All funds raised from art sales are matched in free dental care for uninsured patients. In the three years since inception, SDG has provided $518,253.50 worth of dental care to over 500 patients.
“At the end of their (boxing) careers, many people in the community are neglected, disregarded and financially challenged,” said Bernard Hopkins. “This is why it is extremely important for everyone in the boxing community to receive the proper healthcare before, during, and after their career. Unfortunately, good healthcare, especially dental care, is too expensive for many people in this industry.
“Together with my partners at Smile Design Gallery, I am happy to announce my participation to providing awareness to comprehensive healthcare, beginning with dental care, for those in the boxing community who have dedicated years to this sport,” said Hopkins.
Among the boxing legends and luminaries joining Hopkins at the auction were Olympic gold medalist and former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks along with his wife Brenda; Olympic silver medalist and multiple division champion Roy Jones Jr., also an HBO Boxing commentator; former light heavyweight champion and respected trainer Mustafa Muhammad; former WBC featherweight title holder Kevin Kelley; and HBO Boxing sportscaster Jim Lampley.
Fine artwork depicted champions past and present including Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and Hopkins. Among the more unusual pieces were hanging sculptures crafted from boxing heavy bags, created by multi-media artist Ivben Taqiy of Philadelphia and artist team UR New York.
The gallery and show offer opportunity for rising stars like Robert Peterson. Peterson’s career as an artist is only a few years old. The Oklahoma based artist was working on the production line in a Goodyear plant, but had been drawing sketches his entire life. His work was so impressive, prospective clients started asking for paintings. His clients now including superstar rapper and producer, Swizz Beatz, Darrell Revis, Carlos Boozer, and Lil Wayne.
To see more artwork for sale online and follow the gallery for new pieces, visit the Smile Design Gallery website. You can view “The Art of Boxing” catalog and learn more about the contributing artists here.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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